|A couple of pictures of Deborah Bay, about 5k from our place.|
|After Church we sometimes get take aways and park on the shoreline and debrief.|
There could be worse places to eat lunch!
A Good life....
I have been intensely busy over the last couple of weeks and it feels like it is going to keep getting busier. We have had a lot going on with the Night Shelter, and just the normal Church and chaplaincies keep me busy. By Thursday I had to put together and record a radio Church service. Also by Thursday I had to make sure I had purchased suitable birthday presents for my wife! I had several letters, emails and phone calls for the Night Shelter and ended the week with some of this work still hanging over my head. I seem to go to bed tired and wake up tired, with many restless nights.
My work has a lot of good moments as part of it. Here are some... Last Tuesday I was invited to ride along on a job with ambulance crew. I am always impressed by the way these guys deal with their patients, and felt it was a real privilege to be invited. On Friday I rang up a fire fighter I knew had not been well and found that we fell into easy catch-up conversation on the phone just like long standing friends. I tried a couple of times, through a visit and phone call, to get hold of another man I knew was to go in for an operation this week. As I was having lunch I heard he had visited the hospital and then had called into the Church. I ended up running down the road to catch him, and offered to take him home. When we got there we sat in the van and chatted for an hour - it was real honest, open, friendly conversation. I came away feeling like it was time well spent. After the drop-in centre on Friday night I visited the Night Shelter and spent time with our new employee. First thing on Friday morning I had a phone call from a friend of my sister. She simply said, "I lost my husband last night. Can you take the funeral?" One of my visits on Saturday then, was to go up to her house to catch up on her. Much of the work for today's morning service had to be done on Saturday evening and I was pleased that it seemed to go well. I came home from Church and enjoyed an early afternoon nap - I was exhausted! I then loaded up the beds, mattresses and set of drawers that we had secured last Monday and delivered them to the needy family. As I reflect on a very busy week, I am grateful for the variety, the relationships and the meaningfulness in much of my work. I feel like I am making a difference for good.
"They have a massive TV, a better car than us and Sky TV installed!"
I know I should not get all bitter and twisted, but let me share this initial reaction. I spent last Monday gathering together these beds, mattresses and set of drawers for this family. We bought some of the stuff, and worked on installing legs on the bed bases. The family asked for a loan of some money to enable them to go to Christchurch and pick up their daughter and grandson being released from prison. So today as we loaded the mattresses and beds, we also gathered together $120 of cash. (We are confident they will pay it back eventually - they have in the past.) But... when we delivered the beds as I trundled through the lounge I noticed this massive new TV, then I noticed the Sky dish outside and that a Sky channel was showing. They also have a later model of car than we have. My first comment when I got back in our van to go home was, "Why are we doing this? Did you see their TV? They have Sky! Why are we the mugs shelling out money to help them?" Now I know that it is a stupid reaction. They are who they are and they have made their choices. I know also that they are probably paying these things off on a stupidly expensive hire purchase agreement. They are trying to help their daughters and grandchildren and currently have a cash flow problem. I feel the need to support them in that - but my wife did suggest they be encouraged to go to their budget advice person. Before I get all out of shape, I need to heed the statement, "Don't compare your life with others' and don't judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about." If I was unemployable with little else going for me in life, I might choose to blob out in front of Sky TV too.
Busy week ahead...
If I thought last week was busy, this week will be much more stressful.
- I have a heap of stuff to do for the Night Shelter. We have a street appeal coming up and there's a lot of work to be done toward that.
- I have a hospital appointment on Tuesday - a fun visit to the urology department. This means that the chaplaincy I would normally do at that time will have to be done on another day.
- On Tuesday evening I am guest speaker at a Rotary club. I hope I finish at the hospital in time.
- I have a funeral on Thursday and a lot of work to do in preparation for that. Again it is at a time that I am usually doing a chaplaincy visit so I will have to squeeze that in elsewhere.
- My daughter and son-in-law will be away next weekend so I will have to do the tasks they usually do for Church on Sunday.
- Next Sunday afternoon I take part in the dedication of a new ambulance station in a township an hour away from Dunedin.